The manager said the English international duo were “brave enough to act for their country” when they missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final
Ole Gunnar Solskjær channeled a former president of the United States when he defended Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho before Manchester United’s first away game in the Premier League of the season.
While Rashford is injured, Sancho could make his first appearance in front of a hostile crowd since missing a penalty kick for England in the Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley.
Man Utd travel to Southampton on Sunday, and with a chance of repeat last week at Old Trafford where visiting Leeds fans Rashford and Sancho sing “let their country down”, Solskjaer quoted Teddy Roosevelt as speaking to his players.
What was said?
“I do not expect this to happen to too many away fans or other fans,” Solskjaer said of the English players being targeted before the game against Southampton. ‘More of them respect more and support their country more. You see, the fans of other clubs show their support to the players who were brave enough to stand up for their country.
The old Theodore Roosevelt ‘man in the arena’ [speech] resonate for me in this situation. ”
Solskjaer referred to a speech by Roosevelt in 1910, which said: ‘The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face has been spoiled by dust and sweat and blood; who strives bravely; and who in the worst case, if he fails, at least fails while he dares a lot. ”
What was the reaction to the loss of England?
After missing their penalties, Bashayo Saka, wing of Rashford, Sancho and Arsenal, were the victims of horrific abuse online, including racist insults. A mural by Rashford in Manchester has also been vandalized – but it soon became a sanctuary for tributes and support for the three players, with widespread condemnation of the abuse.
Saka was applauded by Brentford fans when they faced Arsenal on the first day of the Premier League season as the majority of fans oppose the abusive minority.
Sunshine Compare Beckham
The Man Utd manager has noticed how his former Old Trafford team-mate David Beckham was treated after being sent off during the 1998 World Cup during England’s last 16 defeat to Argentina.
Beckham was subsequently regularly abused by fans and the press, and Solkjaer draws on how Sir Alex Ferguson supported the player through time in the way he dealt with the pelters Rashford and Sancho faced.
“The way the manager handled the Becks situation was exactly the right prototype,” he said. “Jadon and Marcus are strong characters; it will not be a problem. We will protect them; I will protect them. ”